Pfizer's Palladia - The first canine cancer drug ever!
Here’s another good news for dog lovers and their dogs! It wasn’t until June 3, 2009 that the dog world people had been struck with such a great surprise. The Food and Drug Administration of America announced the approval of the first canine cancer medicine ever on Friday, June 3, 2009. ‘Palladia’ (toceranib phosphate), the first cancer treating drug for dogs created a buzz across the globe – especially revolutionized the veterinary world. Good news is that the now the dog owners got something to fight cancer in their dogs, but bad news is that it cannot treat all types of cancers in dogs.
‘Palladia’, manufactured by Pfizer Animal Health Inc., New York City, can treat only the cutaneous mast cell tumors (MCT), which is a type of cancerous tumor, which is commonly found in about 1 out of 5 canine cutaneous tumors. ‘Palladia’ has been approved to treat the cutaneous mast cell tumors with or without regional lymph nodes involvement. Al the cancer drugs that have been in use for the veterinary purpose so far were all developed to be used for humans and not for animals. Until Palladia surged into the market canine cancer were treated with steroids and antihistamines and various oncology drugs for human. As allowed by the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act of 1994, the cancer treatments meant for the veterinary purpose are used in an “extra-level” manner. Bernadette Dunham, D.V.M., Ph.D., director of FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine said: "This cancer drug approval for dogs is an important step forward for veterinary medicine. Prior to this approval, veterinarians had to rely on human oncology drugs, without knowledge of how safe or effective they would be for dogs. Today's approval offers dog owners, in consultation with their veterinarian, an option for treatment of their dog's cancer."
How Palladia Works?
Remember, the mast cells have a positive role to play for dogs. The mast cells help to protect dogs from allergies and inflammation. But if over-stimulated, they discharge certain chemicals, like heparin, histamine, prostaglandins and serotonin, which damage the dogs’ immunity system. Unfortunately, what causes the tumors to turn to be cancerous is still not discovered. Palladia (toceranib phosphate) is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor and works in two distinctive ways:
- Its kills the tumors cells and makes the tumor disappear or stop growing further
- It cut off the supply of blood to the tumor region and makes it disappear or stop growing.
Palladia has brought a radical change in the veterinary science, but its not devoid of side effects. The most common and probable side effects associated with Palladia are lameness, diarrhea, decrease or loss of appetite, weight loss and sometimes blood in the stool.
Cancerous mast cell tumors are actually categorized into three grades according to severity....
- Grade I MCT is least severe and limited to just a tumor itself with no risk.
- Grade II MCT is when the tumor begins to metastasize, but it’s still considered treatable.
- Grade III MCT is when the tumors becomes aggressive and spreads through the lymph glands to the other parts of the dogs’ body.